One of the most loved foods in the world is finally here! This is a traditional Italian Lasagna, made the Italian way with layers of slow cooked Bolognese ragu and cheese sauce. No ricotta – that’s the American-Italian version. Though patience is required, it is quite straight forward to make as you will see in the recipe video!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion , finely chopped (white, yellow or brown)
- 1 medium carrot , finely diced
- 1 stick of celery , finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 1 kg beef mince (ground beef) (Note 1)
- 800g crushed tomato
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 cup (250ml) red wine , bold not light (Note 2)
- 3 beef bouillon cubes , crumbled
- 2 bay leaves , dried or fresh
- 1/2 tsp each dried thyme and oregano
- 2 tsp worcestershire sauce
- 1 – 2 tsp sugar (if needed – Note 3)
- 1/2 tsp salt and black pepper
CHEESE SAUCE (BESCIAMELLA):
- 60g / 4 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup (75g) flour
- 4 cups (1 litre) milk (low fat is fine to use.)
- 2 cups (200g) shredded cheese (Colby, Gruyere, Cheddar, Monterey Jack, OR 1 cup shredded parmesan) (Note 4)
- Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
- Salt and pepper
- 350g/ 12 oz fresh lasagna sheets (or 250g/8oz dried) (Note 5)
- 1 1/2 cups (150g) shredded mozzarella cheese
- Finely chopped basil or parsley , for garnish (optional)
I suggest using a WELL SEASONED PAN
This will add that seared flavour to your prawn or a really good quality non-stick pan. If you don’t trust it, don’t use it. The honey may stick and you’ll be peeling prawn off of the pan.
- Heat oil in a large heavy based pot over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, celery and carrots. Cook for 10 minutes until softened and sweet – they should not brown (if they do, turn heat down).
- Add beef, turn heat up and cook the beef, breaking it up as you go.
- Once the beef has all turned brown, add the remaining Ragu ingredients EXCEPT the sugar.
- Stir then adjust the heat so it is bubbling very gently. Place the lid on and cook for 1.5 – 2 hours, stirring every now and then, then remove the lid and simmer for 30 minutes.
- The ragu is ready when the meat is really tender and the sauce has thickened and is rich – see video for consistency (Note 6). Adjust salt and pepper to taste, and add sugar if required (Note 3)
- Warm milk up in a saucepan (optional – just makes sauce thicken faster).
- In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium low heat. Add flour and mix constantly for 1 minute.
- Pour about 1 cup of the milk in, mixing as you go to incorporate into the flour mixture. Once mostly lump free, add remaining milk. Use a whisk if needed to make it lump free.
- Turn heat up to medium high. Stir occasionally at first then regularly after a few minutes until sauce thickens – about 5 – 8 minutes. It should coat the back of the wooden spoon.
- Remove from heat, add cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Mix until the cheese is melted. The Sauce should be thick but still easily pourable – the consistency of heavy cream (you need to be able to drizzle it over the Ragu when layering – see video). If it’s too thick, add a splash of water or milk.
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Use a 33 x 22 x 7 cm baking dish.
- Smear a bit of Ragu on the base, then cover with lasagna sheets. Tear sheets to fit.
- Spread over 2 1/2 cups of Ragu (enough to cover sheets), then drizzle over 1 cup of Cheese Sauce.
- Top with lasagna sheets (Note 7). Spread with another 2 1/2 cups of Ragu, then 1 cup of Cheese Sauce. Top with lasagna sheets then repeat 1 more time.
- Top with a 4th layer of lasagna sheets, then pour over the remaining Cheese Sauce.
- Sprinkle with Mozzarella, then bake for 25 minutes or until golden and bubbling.
- Stand for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting and serving, garnished with basil or parsley if desired.